The vast region of Southern California was placed under new lockdown orders as the state scrambles to slow the rapid escalation of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.
The California Department of Public Health announced Saturday that a shortage of intensive care beds in the 11-county Southern California region had triggered the new measures.
The new restrictions will go into effect in Southern California at 11:59 p.m. Sunday and last for at least three weeks.
The region includes the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego and is home to about 24 million people, almost half of the state’s population. The order was also put in effect for the San Joaquin Valley in central California.
The new state stay-at-home order bans all on-site restaurant dining and closes hair and nail salons, movie theaters and many other businesses, as well as museums and playgrounds.
It also means people may not congregate with anyone outside their household and must always wear masks when they go outside.
The following sectors will stay open but with limited capacity, mandatory masks and social distancing measures in place:
- Outdoor recreational facilities, but without food, drink or alcohol sales, and no overnight camping
- Retail businesses and malls, with indoor capacity limited to 20%; no eating or drinking will be allowed inside stores
- Hotels and offices that support critical infrastructure
- Restaurants offering takeout, pick-up or delivery
- Places of worship can hold outdoor services
- Professional sports and entertainment production without live audiences
- Non-urgent medical and dental care